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Gibson A-3 (1920)


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Top: Adirondack spruce
Back/Sides/Neck: Birch, birch, and mahogany, respectively
Body Binding: Double-bound ivoroid
Bracing: Tone bar
Bridge: Original non-adjustable ebony
Fingerboard: Ebony
Nut: 1.19"
Neck Joint: Dovetail
Truss Rod: None
Peghead Veneer: Ebonized hardwood
Tuners: Original nickel inline tuners with grained ivoroid buttons
Scale Length: 13.88"
Finish: White top with red stain on the back, sides, and neck
Tailpiece: Original Gibson cast nickel
Case: Non-original hard-shell case
Need More Specs? Contact Us!


You'd be hard-pressed to find a more unique mandolin than this truly beautiful 1920 Gibson A-3 that just made its way into our store on consignment. A-3s of this period came stock with a white finish on top, nicely matching the ivoroid pickguard, binding, and tuning buttons, for a visual calling card like none other and adding an additional "cool factor" to an already awesome antique mandolin. But lest you think the A-3 is just a pretty face, it also boasts a big, warm tone perfect for old time music, courtesy of its oval hole construction and some nicely broken-in tonewoods - Adirondack spruce on top, a mahogany neck, and birch on the back and sides.

This instrument arrived in our store in very good condition, considering it's now over 100 years of age. While there is some relief in the neck, it plays extremely well in all positions and responds nicely to a variety of playing styles. Cosmetic wear is for the most part below average, apart from a portion on the top near the tailpiece which was poorly refinished at some point in the past in a color that does not exactly match the rest of the top. Other cosmetic wear is well within the range of normalcy, with dents and divots on all planes of the instrument as is to be expected. All parts are original, including the original non-adjustable saddle, which the pickguard routes through. As this mandolin has long since parted ways with its original chipboard case, it now comes with a non-original hard-shell case, which fits it very well.

*Please note, per our return policy, all sales on used and consignment instruments are final.*

*Photos from our inventory, actual grain patterns may vary Slightly. Contact us for details.